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Community Holds Gun Violence Town Hall

Posted at 10:08 PM, Apr 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-07 22:08:47-04

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) -A group of parents and teachers organized a town hall today. Talking about ways to stop gun violence from entering our local schools and communities. It's a town hall inspired by Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg.

The moderator of the event was Robert Osterman, as a teacher he had his whole of spring break dedicated to putting this together. He says the march for our lives was his wakeup call to do something. News 10's Marcus Dash was there and has the story.

"I was able to go to DC be apart of the march for our lives and listen to those kids on stage talk about action and I felt it was time for me to do what I could," said Osterman.

Osterman says the idea behind this event was to give everyday people a platform to talk to panelists, made up of candidates running for office in Michigan.

"Let them hear from people that'll be voting and hopefully start the progress," said Osterman.

Congressman Mike Bishop was invited but declined the offer.
However, one of the panelists that did show up was Chris Smith who is running for Bishop's seat. 
Smith said its great to see people come together and tackle an issue that many lawmakers avoid.

"We need to take some action to try to do reduce the risk of gun violence, injury, and death that we see in these episodes that occur," said Chris Smith.

Osterman says one afternoon isn't going to change people's minds on an issue like this, but its a step in the right direction.

"At least we were talking to each other like human beings and that makes a huge difference in finding that middle ground, so we can have progress," said Osterman.

The hope for Osterman is that people all over take the students of Parkland's lead to continue these conversations about gun violence.

Today's "Townhall for our Lives" was similar to many others held across the country taking place with local lawmakers, to help fight gun violence.